Since the start of lockdown, many people have been forced to wear many different ‘hats’ as they become teacher, employee, cook, cleaner and personal trainer at home. I found myself thrust into multiple roles at the end of March and it looks like things are set to continue as they are for the time being.
Whilst many children have returned to school, there are a large number that still haven’t. I have recently been informed that my daughter will be returning to school in September and that the school intends to prioritise English and Maths initially. Whilst this is great news for parents, there will be many questioning how they will continue to maintain working full time as well as caring for their children full time. A lot of parents rely on summer schools and clubs during the holidays and it is now uncertain whether they will be allowed to run – if they are, the numbers of pupils attending will surely be reduced.
It is natural to feel like you are not doing enough or not coping well enough in these strange times. The Office for National Statistics say – ‘Just over half (52%) of those homeschooling said they strongly or somewhat agreed they were confident in their abilities, but just over a quarter (26%) strongly or somewhat disagreed. Nearly three-quarters (72.8%) said they strongly or somewhat agreed their children were continuing to learn while being homeschooled. More people said homeschooling was negatively affecting the well-being of their child or children than said it was negatively affecting their own well-being’.
I have found that a lot of the school work given to children is now online and naturally, during lockdown children do seem to be spending more time online, whether doing school work, video calling friends or playing online games. Increased time online could lead to an increased risk of exposure to unsafe sources and dangers. The government has produced some guidance to help parents keep children safe online.
The World Health Organisation has also provided some resources online to assist parents during this difficult period.
Although the country is beginning to open up again and lockdown has eased, we all know that the risk of coronavirus is still great and we must proceed with caution. Our main priority is to keep our families safe and healthy and, naturally, we may all face personal, professional and legal challenges during this time.
The current situation has raised novel legal issues and if you have any concerns or questions, Farleys are here to support the local and wider community. We offer free legal advice in our virtual clinic and you can contact Farleys on 0845 287 0939 or visit our website .